Beer vs. Wine? How CBRE Maps the Drink Preferences of Canadians

March 27, 2024 4 Minute Read

Profile picture of Naz Ali with map background

If you are what you eat, what about what you drink?

That had us wondering what the beverage of choice is for Canadians: Beer or wine? The answer? Well, it depends where you live.

CBRE Location Intelligence mapped drink preferences across neighbourhoods in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.

The data is based on Environics Analytics PRIZM Segmentation, which divides demographic, lifestyle and values-based data into 67 categories. These categories include typical information on education and income as well as preferences for leisure activities, automobiles and media consumed.

CBRE’s Location Intelligence team used data-modelling based on this information to determine whether a neighbourhood prefers wine or beer. The results are then displayed in Dimension, an interactive mapping tool, and we can see which neighbourhoods across the country prefer beer or wine.

“This is a fun topic, but it really shows the power of location intelligence. Mapping data helps us to better understand the cities we live in,” says CBRE Canada Senior GIS Manager Naz Ali. “And knowing the habits and preferences of people in an area helps our clients make informed decisions.”

Ale You Need is Beer

Those urbanites apparently really love their beer. Most neighbourhoods with strong preferences for beer are located within cities, except for two areas in Metro Vancouver.

Kitsilano has the greatest preference for beer in Metro Vancouver, with 79.3% of people there choosing brew over vino. It is followed by Burnaby’s Brentwood Park, Vancouver’s Fairview and Coquitlam’s City Centre neighbourhoods. Vancouver’s Grandview-Woodland, a neighbourhood known for its high concentration of craft breweries, comes in fifth.

With a 93.2% preference for beer over wine, the Cliff Bungalow neighbourhood ranks first in the Calgary Region. Lower Mount Royal, Sunnyside, Forest Lawn and Killarney/Glengarry follow with strong preferences for beer.

Toronto’s top beer-loving neighbourhood, Runnymede-Bloor West Village, leads with an 89.4% preference for the stuff. It is followed by four areas in the eastern part of the city: Danforth East York, The Beaches, Woodbine-Lumsden and North Riverdale.

Montreal’s east side also has a penchant for beer. Denizens of Montreal’s Petite-Patrie neighbourhood are the most likely to be found with a pint in hand, with 95.6% preferring beer – the greatest percentage of beer lovers in the country. This is followed by adjacent Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, Villeray and Outremont, as well as Montreal-Ouest.

In Vino Veritas

Unlike beer lovers, wine aficionados are primarily found in the peripheral parts of cities, except in Toronto, where four of the top wine-loving neighbourhoods are right in the city centre. In general neighbourhoods with a preference for wine also have higher median household income and education levels.

Metro Vancouver’s top wine-loving neighbourhoods are spread out, with the strongest preference at 86.4% in Downtown Vancouver. This is followed by neighbourhoods in West Vancouver and Richmond.

Calgary Region’s leading wine districts are all outside city boundaries, with four of the top five neighbourhoods in Airdrie and another in Cochrane.

In Toronto’s leading wine neighbourhood, Harbourfront-CityPlace, 99.9% of those tracked prefer wine. Wine also rules in Wellington Place, Fort York-Liberty Village and the Yonge-Bay Corridor, all with a preference above 97.0%, followed by Markham’s Milliken East neighbourhood.

Iles-Laval in Quebec tops the charts locally and nationally with a unanimous love of wine. It would be a pour decision to bring beer to a party in this neighbourhood.

Maps In Action

Mapping preferences for beer and wine can help determine a restaurant or retailer’s success.

“Retailers can look at a map like this to see which neighbourhoods would be most beneficial for their business,” says Ali. “The visualization really helps our clients.”

CBRE used this market segmentation data to assist client Earls Restaurants with selecting new locations in B.C. and Ontario. The data enabled Earls to identify which prospective areas it was eyeing preferred wine and sushi versus which preferred beer and burgers, a more suitable target market for Earls.

“CBRE Location Intelligence helped us find locations closer to patrons that know us and access new guests who are inclined to make Earls a second home,” says Sharilyn Mason, Chief Development Officer at Earls Restaurants. “Mapping has been a game-changer in making strategic location decisions and ensuring the success of our restaurants.”

“Clients can visualize and understand the full benefits of potential locations using data modelling,” says Ali. “It’s not just about mapping demographics. It’s about taking a more holistic and nuanced view of each neighbourhood and their lifestyle preferences.”

Curious to know if you live in a beer or wine neighbourhood? Check out our interactive map:

Recent Insights

Stay In The Know

Subscribe today and join hundreds of professionals who get the latest blogs delivered straight to their inbox.